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beyond the Kuiper Belt, over the sea

Archive for March, 2009

Leaving today

Friday, March 20th, 2009

For two weeks in Dar es Salaam.  I may check email once or twice.  See you, Intertubes, later!

Airport observations

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

So, I forgot to take my liquids out of my carryon, not that it would have made much difference, given that I am traveling with only once piece of carryon and no checked luggage.  So this time that I forgot to remove them, unlike the other n times, the TSA noticed it.  Or, sort of.  The guy took out two of the three liquids/gels I had.  He missed my deodorant.  But he took out a small bottle of aloe, totally unlabeled, and my toothpaste.

Here’s where it becomes total farce: the aloe was small enough to be acceptable, so he just says “next time, put this in a clear plastic bag.  But this is too large,” meaning the toothpaste.  If you were concerned about potentially dangerous gels, which would catch your attention?  A small unmarked container (which he never asked me to even identify) of clear odorless gel, or a toothpaste tube, which you could easily confirm contained toothpaste, which you know to be non-dangerous?  Of course, he didn’t give the aloe a second thought, but took the toothpaste.  The only way this makes sense is in the context of Bruce Schneier’s interview with Kip Hawley, in which Hawley basically says that there is an Office for Annoying Air Travelers.

In other, unrelated news, chewing gum is one of the most incredibly obnoxious actions that doesn’t actively impinge on those around you.

Goin’ away to Africa Soon…

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

There’s a song by the Roches that we often sing when visiting family in Ireland, called, appropriately enough, “Going away to Ireland Soon”.  However, this family visit is not, for a change, to Ireland.  This one is to Tanzania.

Last night I dreamt about water quality, about making sure my toothbrushing water was boiled.  I think of myself as well-traveled, but this will be my first trip to somewhere other than North America north of the Rio Grande, western Europe, or Japan.  And all those places are importantly the same: First-World.

So this will be an interesting departure.  I’ll be internet-blackout from about the 19th of this month to the 3rd of next, and will come back with pictures

I hope to make bread this weekend.  I’ve not done so in a while, and need to keep my chops up.  If it seems like I’m not going to, nudge me.


Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Last night was a great Ladysmith Black Mambazo concert.  Just for the record, their founder and still-leader has the best name ever: Bhekizizwe Joseph Siphatimandla Mxoveni Mshengu Bigboy Shabalala.  The last time I saw them, I was very little, and fell asleep up in the balcony.  This time, I was feeling ill and left a bit early, but every moment I was at the concert was worth it.  They were filled with energy, of course, but more, they were filled with (apparent?) spontaneity.  At a certain point, one of them lifted the shirt of the guy next to him and rubbed his belly, to the other guy’s apparent shock and surprise.  That sort of thing kept happening.  At one point, the group behind Mr. Shabalala wouldn’t stop singing the baseline once he had finished the song.  It was pretty fun.

However, I’m still feeling a bit ill.  This is a particularly bad time for it, as it sort of precludes open water certification this weekend, which precludes getting that at all before Zanzibar, which is sad.  I could perhaps spend two days and get open water in Zanzibar, but… I am not holding out too much hope for that.  It’d be a lot of time in a cramped schedule.


Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

I’m back in Colorado.  It was a wonderful whirlwind visit east, and I think I’ll need to do that again soon…

I really don’t have too much more to say now, so I’ll stop.